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A Woman Picks Her Son Up From School Drunk

Posted by Travis Uresk | Nov. 6th, 2022 | DUI |

By Travis Uresk


Vernal, Ut.- On 10/26/22, Chief Simper was contacted by the Naples Elementary School and was told a parent Stephanie Ann Mortensen showed up to the school to pick up her seven-year-old son, and they could smell alcohol on her.

The Staff member told Chief Simper Stephanie was driving a small black car and drove off with her son in the backseat without a child seat.

Chief Simper had dispatch put out an attempt to locate on Stephanie’s black car.

Later, Simper was able to locate a license plate registered to Stephanie Mortensen matching the description the school had given and confirmed the status of Stephanie's driver's license as denied and an alcohol-restricted driver.

Chief Simper parked in front of her home, and shortly after, the black vehicle passed by him. He saw the driver match the description of Stephanie.

As Chief Simper went to initiate a traffic stop, the vehicle turned North onto 200 E from 500 S. The car continued driving and turned East onto 400 S. Simper could see Stephanie moving items around inside the car. Simper activated his siren, and the car pulled over at 136 E 400 S, Vernal, Ut.

Chief Simper approached the car and observed a seven-year-old boy in the back seat without a child restraint device. He asked Stephanie why she was driving with a denied license. She stated she had to pick up her son early from school and then grab lunch for a family member. Simper could smell the odor of alcohol coming from Stephanie's breath as she spoke.

The Chief took her driver's license and asked why it took so long to pull over. Stephanie Stated it didn't, and she pulled over immediately when she saw his lights. Chief Simper told her he activated his lights on 500 S, and she stated she did not see them.

He then asked her if there were any open containers of alcohol in the vehicle as he saw an open 12-pack of Natural Light beer on the passenger floorboard. Stephanie stated there would be, but they are not mine. Stephanie further stated she had not driven the car for a couple of days because it had been in a family member's possession.

Simper asked if she had consumed alcohol today, and she said no. He asked when was the last time she consumed any alcohol, and she stated the night before last. He asked again if she had drank anything last night, and she stated maybe a few beers.

Stephanie was then asked to step out of her car, and she refused. Simper told her he was giving her a lawful order to exit the car, and she complied.

This is from the affidavit:

I turned off my forward-facing emergency lights. Stephanie advised she had no medical conditions with her eyes, nor was she wearing glasses or contacts. When asked about any medical conditions preventing her from walking a straight line, she advised that she has equilibrium issues and nerve pain in her left leg that sometimes causes her to limp.

The first test was conducted in front of my patrol vehicle. When Stephanie was advised we would be using an imaginary line, she stated she wanted to use a line. We moved to the sidewalk, and I had her use the line between the curb and the sidewalk. This area was level and clear of debris.

Stephanie was wearing gray/black tennis shoes.

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus: The stimulus used for this test was initially my right index finger, but due to my finger shaking from the cold, I restarted the test with my left index finger. I observed both eyes to be dilated equally and tracked in symmetry. I observed a lack of smooth pursuit in both eyes. I observed distinct and sustained nystagmus at maximum deviation in both eyes. I observed the onset of nystagmus prior to 45 degrees in both eyes. 6 of 6 clues were observed.

Nine-Step Walk and Turn: I instructed and demonstrated the test. The subject stepped off the line multiple times in both lines. The subject missed heel-to-toe multiple times in both lines. The subject stopped walking and raised her arm more than six inches from her body. 4 of 8 clues were observed.

One Leg Stand: I instructed and demonstrated this test. No clues were observed.

Alphabet Test: The subject went from A to Z correctly. I advised her to start on D and end on X. Subject went D, E, F.......O, P, Q, R, X. She advised she was finished and confirmed she was told to end on X. Letters missed S, T, U, V, W.

Finger to Nose Test: This test was demonstrated. Multiple times she would miss her nose with her fingertip, and twice she began moving the wrong arm. I administered a portable breath test which tested positive for alcohol. I formed the opinion Stephanie was impaired to the point she could not safely operate a motor vehicle. I asked again how much alcohol she consumed last night, and she stated a 15-pack between her and a family member.'

She also advised she had some mixed drinks. I advised her that she would be arrested for driving while under the influence. I asked who could come to the scene to pick up her child. She advised a family member could come to the scene. He was at work just down the road. I sent another officer to the home to get him.

He arrived and took custody of the child and vehicle. I placed Stephanie into handcuffs, and Trooper Ryan transported her to the Uintah County Jail. Once at the jail, I observed the baker rule at 1252 hours by confirming her mouth was clear of foreign objects minus a tongue ring. During this time, she did not burp, regurgitate, or vomit.

The DUI admonition was read, and she consented to a breath test resulting in 0.141 BrAC with 2.976 liters of breath. I issued her a copy of the results and completed the DUI interview questions. I booked Stephanie Mortensen on the above-listed charges. It should be noted the DUI charge should be 41-6A-503(2)(a) but it was not listed in the options.


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